I think I have said this to open every end of year post, but I'm still going to say it; where the heck has the year gone? 2014 seems to have gone quicker than 2013. It's actually a little frightening at how quickly time flies.
2014 has actually been a very busy year for me and I'm only just coming to realize that as I look back at what has taken place this year, and as I am looking at 2015.
On a personal level there has been a lot of celebrations. I have attended one hen weekend, one christening, one 30th birthday, and three weddings. I've been lucky enough to spend time with family members that I haven't seen in a few years, and to be a part of smaller celebrations in the forms of going out for meals etc. I wish I could say that Christmas has been good this year, but a family member passed away the day before Christmas Eve, and my mother has had a terrible flu over the holidays as well. So, sadly it hasn't been the best Christmas.
I'm not really one for travelling. I go back and forth to Manchester since my family and friends are situated there, but due to all those celebrations I have been a few places this year; Northern Ireland, Bath, Stroud, London, and Leeds.
On a professional level I've actually had four book releases this year; Truth or Dare? released in January. Stepping Stones released in June, and She-Wolf and Cranberry Blood released in August - plus this December I released a paperback edition of a previously published title, Razel Dazzle, which released in eBook last November - I hadn't realized.
Okay, three of the titles were re-released due to the closure of one of my publishers the other year, but they still went through edits, and got revamped, and new covers etc. So they may not have been brand spanking new, but I still had to work on them and release them. I will say though, I don't think it will be happening again. Four books in one year is a lot of work.
I've had a handful of ideas for new stories, which I have had to leave in my slush pile until I have time to write them. I have started a new story in a whole new series, but decide that it would be best for me to finish my Blood Series, and another series I started before I even dive into another one.
I stepped further into self-publishing. Last November I self-published for the first time - Razel Dazzle, my modern fairytale retelling of Rapunzel - and this summer I self-published/re-released the first two books in my Blood Series - She-Wolf (Prequel) & Cranberry Blood (Book 1) - in both eBook and Paperback - yep, I actually figured out how to format for print books. Go me!
I finally met Dianna Hardy. That might sound insane since we share a blog, and have known each other for about three years, but we live a fair distance away from one another. So it was lovely to finally meet Dianna. She has been such an inspiration and help to me since I met her, and has become a really good friend.
I attended my first book event along with fellow authors Ninfa Hayes, R.A. Smith, and D.A. Lascelles - who I met at the same time as meeting Dianna Hardy. Leeds Steampunk Market was very cool.
I've been very blessed to meet new authors this year as well as forming stronger relationships with authors I have known for a while. And I have also had the pleasure of gaining and meeting new readers, which has just been fabulous.
So yeah, looking back 2014 has actually been really busy, but what seems a touch sad - and possibly good - about 2015 is I have no family events planned. No releases scheduled and written in concrete. 2015 is kinda empty at the moment. Well, not empty. Here's what I know for sure:
After self-publishing She-Wolf and Cranberry Blood I have made the decision that I am now going to self-publish all my titles - unless I have an overwhelming need and feeling to submit a certain book somewhere - because I just prefer it. Self-publishing gives an author a lot of freedom and more say over their stories, which is right, I think.
Despite having ideas - funny thing about my brain; sometimes it doesn't want to work so I don't get far with a WIP, but it constantly dishes out ideas. How is that fair? - and despite the fact I wish I could be the type of author that sits down every day and hammers out thousands of words, I'm not. I've beaten myself up over it for this last two years, and I need to stop doing it. I have another job I have to go to - I wish I didn't, but writing is a job of passion. A girl has to make a living and unfortunately passion doesn't pay the bills, not yet any way - and I know that spoils my allure lol but I do, and I can't always concentrate the way I would like to, or sometimes I'm tired so it is hard to write. So, despite all those ideas I have saved away, I made an agreement with myself; I'm aiming to publish one book every year, if I manage two then great, but I'm not going to stress about it because I have a very bad habit of watching what every other author is doing and wondering why I can't do the same, or be able to do this or that.... it's not me. Its not how I work. As long as I get to write, and as long as I can publish these stories, I'm happy and that is what's important; happy productivity.
So the plan for 2015 is to continue with the currently untitled second book in the Blood Series - which currently stands at 10k - and my aim is to publish that in Summer 2015. I do believe that due to the plot and flow of this book I may even have to partly start book 1.5 in the series. Yes, I haven't mentioned that, but there is going to be a novella or short novel between book one and two. I have a rough idea of how it will go, but I am a big panster and despite the fact I have stated I might release this in Winter 2015 it isn't set in stone. Book two is definitely getting released in 2015, though.
The Blood Series is my priority. I want to finish the series. If things hadn't messed up at my publishers then maybe it would be almost finished, but I can't say I am angry at the way things have planned out considering I wanted the rights to these two books - and therefore the series - back so I could self-publish them. So, I'm going to be working on the next book/book and a half in the Blood Series in 2015.
I do have plans past the Blood Series - like the other series I mentioned above that I want to complete before moving on to newer ideas - but they want happen until 2016. Should plans change you will of course be the first to know.
The only other thing I can say is definitely happening next year is that I plan to try and attend one or two book events, if my budget will allow. I have already expressed interest in a convention in Yorkshire that will be taking place in April, but that is still in the air at the moment. So, if you live in the UK look out for more details on that.
So, 2015 looks to be a quieter year, but I can't say that I mind. I look forward to only having to concentrate on one/two books that happen to be in the same world and flow with each other. I look forward to new opportunities that may open up and I hope some good ones will, but 2015 is completely open to me. Anything could happen - hopefully in the greatest of senses - and I look forward to seeing what this next year brings to my doorstep.
I hope that you have had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a fabulous New Year. I of course will be back in 2015. So, I shall see you then. ;-D